Detroit Today: Michigan’s poet laureate Nandi Comer discusses her work

Comer, a Detroit native, is the State of Michigan’s first poet laureate since the 1950s.

Nandi Comer

Nandi Comer has been a writer-in-residence in Detroit’s public schools and worked with various organizations, including InsideOut Literary Arts.

Comer currently serves as the director of the Allied Media Projects Speakers Bureau and as co-director of Detroit Lit — a program that provides reading and professional development opportunities to narrative makers of color in Detroit.

Most notably, Comer recently became Michigan’s poet laureate. She is the first person to hold the title since the 1950s.

Comer joined Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson to discuss her career and the goals of the organizations she represents.

Listen: How Detroit’s poets influenced Nandi Comer’s work


Nandi Comer is Michigan’s poet laureate.  Her work can be found in the books she’s authored — “American Family: A Syndrome” and “Tapping Out.”

Comer says she tries to manifest a particular rhythm in her work. In doing so, the revision process for her writing can be quite long.

“Sometimes when I’m revising my work, I revise for a bunch of things — punctuation, clarity. But sometimes I just want to see if it sings,” says Comer.

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  • Detroit Today
    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.